‘Salim Must Die’ is the second book in the Lashkar series by Mukul Deva. If you enjoyed Lashkar, you will love Salim Must Die. If you are craving for the growth of the thriller genre, Salim Must Die is for you. If you want a dose of reality and fiction intertwined, Salim Must Die should be your next read.
India has a rich military history with the 3rd largest army in the world. But over the years there have been problems of all kinds around India as well as the world. With the proxy war being run by Pakistan on India through its strong base of terrorist groups and Al Qaeda brainwashing individuals across the world, the world is no more a safe place. And this was what encouraged Mukul to start the Lashkar series.
The 1st book of the series “Lashkar” was about the 2005 Sarojini blasts in Delhi and how Force 22, a rapid action strike force attack the terror mongers deep in Pakistan. The 2nd one starts from where the 1st one left. Murad Salim is one of the most dreaded terrorists but is living safely in an ISI safehouse. After quite a few months / years of laying low he plans the most audacious terror strike the world has ever seen. He and an ex – captain of the Pakistan Army together brainwash more than ten individuals to conduct this nuclear, chemical and biological weapons attack. The story moves at breakneck speed across Pakistan, India, Vienna, Male, New Orleans, Copenhagen, Barbados and many more cities.
Mukul has a fantastic way of mixing reality with fiction. For those like me who devotedly follow world news and have a strong interest of the same would love this aspect of his. Whether it’s Mr. Singh (referring to Manmohan Singh), the General (Pervez Musharraf) or the American President ‘s (George Bush) attempt to kill someone who reminds you of Osama Bin Laden, shows that he knows his facts right. Osama’s killing by Obama’s men recently makes you wonder if he has an astrologer in him as well.
The characters are pretty well defined. And above all one can really understand what all goes through a mind of terrorist. This has for sure been possible only because of his military background and the fact that Mukul has covered all the insurgency hit areas in the country. His writing is lucid, easy to comprehend and razor sharp.
The only problem lies in the fact that he explains each weapon in too much detail. Obviously that comes about with his army background. But to a normal person that may turn out to be a bit boring and draggy especially when he / she is reading a thriller and waiting for the main moments. And therefore cutting down on that would have made the book more crisp.
But all said and done, Mukul has given rise to the thriller genre in the country. An ex-army man turned mentor, coach, entrepreneur, writer, his career is as diverse as it could be. I am not sure how good or bad he is in his other endeavors. But his writing makes you want to turn pages. And that’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it?
If you have not read the Lashkar series, you are missing something for sure.
Go for it!! You won’t regret it!!!
Rating – 4 / 5